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Exoplanets Clue to Sun's Curious Chemistry

11 Nov 2009, 18:00 UTC
Exoplanets Clue to Sun's Curious Chemistry L. Calçada/ESO

A ground-breaking census of 500 stars, 70 of which are known to host planets, has successfully linked the long-standing "lithium mystery" observed in the Sun to the presence of planetary systems. Using ESO's successful HARPS spectrograph, a team of astronomers has found that Sun-like stars that host planets have destroyed their lithium much more efficiently than "planet-free" stars.

This finding does not only shed light on the lack of lithium in our star, but also provides astronomers with a very efficient way of finding stars with planetary systems.

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